Introducing Indian Society

Introducing Indian Society

Question

What is community identify? Discuss its characteristics.

Answer

Every humanbeing needs a sense of stable identity to operate in this world. It is the process of socialisation that gives this identity to each individual. The socialisation process involves a continuous dialogue, negotiation and even struggle against our parents, family, kin group and our community viz a giant form, of varied groups of people. It is therefore, our community that provides us the language and cultural values through which we comprehend the world. It is based on birth and belongings and never on some form of acquired qualifications or accomplishment. Birth based identity is called ascriptive because this does not involve any choice on the part of tbe individuals concerned. It is actually worthless and discriminating. However, these ascriptive identifies are very hard to shake off because irrespective of our efforts to disown them, others may continue to identify us by those very markers of belonging.

Such ascriptive identity is the most deterrant to self-realisation. However, expanding and overlapping circles of community ties i.e. family, kinship, caste, ethnicity, language, region or religion give meaning to our world and give us sense of identity, of who we are.

These are universal because everyone has a motherland, a mother tongue, a family and a faith. The communities distinct on the basis of nation, language, religion, caste or region, we see alway in war for no vital reason at all. Each side in the conflict thinks of the other side as a hatred enemy, and there is a tendency to exaggerate the virtues of one's own side as well as the vices of the other side. Some nations of mutually agreed upon truth is very hard to establish in situations of identity conflict; it usually takes decades, sometimes centuries for one side to accept that it was wrong.

Reason for conflict : Ascriptive identity is nothing else but mere ignorance or 'partial' process of socialisation which is the main disadvantage of knowing an automatic way about society i.e. the subject-matter of sociology. One should therefore, do away with such ascriptive identity in order to avail all-round development of his personality.

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